QuickBooks

My Look at QuickBooks Connect 2017

Written by Charlie Russell

Intuit uses their QuickBooks Connect show to introduce new and upcoming products and features, so here’s my take on the items that interested me at QuickBooks Connect 2017. I’m picking out some highlights from all of the announcements and presentations from the show.

It is interesting to see that several of the announcements this year are fulfillments of promises made at last year’s show. However, many of the announcements Intuit made at this show have already been covered by articles in the Accountex Report earlier this year, so I won’t go into details regarding those.

This article covers:

  • QuickBooks Assistant
  • QuickBooks Capital
  • Lighter Capital Intuit Developer Fund
  • Upcoming Find-A-ProAdvisor Website Improvements
  • QuickBooks Desktop (yes, I said desktop!)
  • The $100K App Showdown

QuickBooks Assistant

Earlier this year, in my article QuickBooks Online Is the Future for Intuit, I talked about how “machine learning” was going to be a key development for QuickBooks Online. This, along with Intuit’s use of aggregated data, and detailed analysis of your data, could be one of the most powerful advances in accounting systems in the future.

QuickBooks Assistant was introduced as an example of this. It is a “virtual assistant” that is available to users of QuickBooks Self Employed for iOS and Android devices, and it will be available soon for QuickBooks Online.

Simply ask a question (keying it in, or using voice) and the QuickBooks Assistant will attempt to answer. For example, as shown below, you can ask “What have I made this year?”

 QuickBooks Connect 2017

The system responds with a specific answer, including a date range so that you know what time period is being covered. It goes beyond that direct answer to include additional helpful information like the profit margin, shown just under the net income value.

 QuickBooks Connect 2017

There is a series of buttons along the bottom of the answer screen that are context-sensitive, so you can easily dig in to the issue further. Or, you can continue refining the response simply by continuing your conversation with the application.

Keep in mind that this is an automated “chatbot.” It is not a live support technician answering you, it is an automated system that will respond immediately and is available 24 hours a day. You won’t be waiting in a phone queue for the next available support technician, and the answers will be based on your data immediately.

It is hard to show you how useful this will be just from a static screen shot. I’m going to be very interested in playing with this once it is available in QuickBooks Online. Keep in mind, though, that this is new technology and it is going to take some time for Intuit to fulfill its potential. Since I’m the kind of person who likes to test the limits of an application, plus I have a very twisted sense of humor, I am going to have a lot of fun testing this!


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About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been the managing editor and primary writer for the Accountex Report (formerly the Sleeter Report) since 2011. Charlie can be reached at [email protected]

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.

10 Comments

  • So funny you said ‘desktop’, when I asked a question of some of the higher-ups, about ‘desktop’ their response was “what’s that…”.

    Murph

    • Depends on who you talk to there. But, communication between folks at Intuit isn’t always good. I was telling one QBO manager about something in the product, he said it didn’t work that way, until I showed him the screen shots.

  • Appreciate your thought and knowledge of the QuickBooks and other accounting software, You really help us to be updated with the accounting software.

    Thank you so much for sharing this article

  • Thanks Charlie for your take on QBCC 17, especially because I was recovering from minor surgery and couldn’t make it.

    so a couple thoughts/questions:
    1) Will a person be able to get a loan if the data is inaccurate:
    a) un-reconciled bank accounts
    b) large number of unprocessed items in bank feeds
    c) any of the typical errors in a file

    2) will being a “tax expert” affect my ranking in FAP?

    3) I wonder if the Assistant can answer the question, “how accurate are my books?”

    Thanks again

    • Jonathan, I can’t really answer these in detail, because Intuit hasn’t provided details. Also, this is just available (at this time) in QuickBooks Self Employed, which I don’t work with. But I can speculate….

      1) The loan is based on the history of your usage, amongst other factors. What kind of inaccurate information? I would guess that if you don’t process your bank feeds (etc.) then it might lower the odds of approval. However, processing is just a reconciliation move. They are going to be looking at things like what your sales are, bank balances, things like this, which don’t necessarily require processing. They can see your transactions as they go through your connected banks and credit cards.

      2) Intuit’s ranking algorithm is secret, AND it changes all the time. So while it might not help your ranking now, it might later on. Who knows? Certainly it is important to be listed as a tax expert if someone is looking for a tax expert…

      3) I’m guessing that QuickBooks Assistant will have an answer for that. It might not be the answer that you are looking for, though. It could be a comeback like “they are as accurate as the info you enter” or something like that. These kinds of assistant bots take time to develop, so you are going to see it respond to a few questions initially, and more as time goes on and they learn what kinds of questions that people ask. Don’t expect the assistant to answer all questions, just the ones that most people ask, and as time goes on the breadth of subjects will expand. Just as we saw with Siri on Apple devices, initially.

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